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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
  
  
  
 
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Americans by Ellerd on 12 February 2007 10:54pm
 
I would apologise for the conduct of the Australian Prime Minister -- who reckons Al Qaeda will be praying for Barack Obama and the Democrats to win your upcoming election. Truth is, I'm enjoying watching John Howard put his foot in it. No wonder the Labor Party is doing so well in the polls...
 
Re: Americans by Miss-M on 12 February 2007 11:02pm
 
I second you, Ellerd.

I quite like Kevin Rudd and think he would make a great future PM.
 
Re: Americans by Louise on 13 February 2007 2:29am
 
Ellerd, sorry to be slow, but are your comments referring to the rumour/fact that Obama was educated at an Islamic madrassa school?

 
Re: Americans by tucsonmike on 13 February 2007 3:03am
 
Thank you guys. That rumor has been spread like mad all over the U.S. It is not true. Obama's father was a not very religious Moslem. Obama is a deeply religious Christian (for those who care).
I know PM Howard wants Condi Rice to run.
 
Re: Americans by Ellerd on 13 February 2007 4:03am
 
No, not that one Louise. From CNN:

CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) -- Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Monday stood by his comments from a day earlier when he said that terrorists should pray that Sen. Barack Obama and the Democrats take over the White House in 2008.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. were telling Howard to butt out of American politics.

Speaking to Australia's ABC News Radio, Howard said his comments were aimed at the Illinois Democrat's plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq in March 2008.

"What I have done is to criticize Sen. Obama's views on a particular issue, and I don't retreat in any way from that criticism," Howard said. "I think if America is defeated in Iraq that will be catastrophic for the West and it will have tremendously adverse consequences for Australia."

Howard, who trails the opposition Labor Party in his re-election bid this year, criticized his opponents as being hypocritical.

"Apparently it's all right for people in the Labor Party to regularly criticize the Bush administration's policy on Iraq -- and they do that almost on a daily basis," Howard said. "Yet my criticism of the policy position of somebody who is not president -- and is not even the Democratic candidate for the presidency -- that is interfering in American politics and is absolutely to be forbidden."

On Sunday, Howard told an Australian TV program that, "If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats."

Obama, campaigning in Iowa, told reporters Sunday that he was flattered that one of Bush's allies "started attacking me the day after I announced [a presidential run] -- I take that as a compliment."

The Democratic presidential hopeful said if the Australian prime minister was "ginned up to fight the good fight in Iraq," he needs to send another 20,000 Australians to the war.

"Otherwise, it's just a bunch of empty rhetoric," Obama said.

Some of Howard's critics have suggested that the prime minister's close alliance with President Bush has distorted his judgment -- a criticism he brushed aside.

White House aides expressed surprise over Howard's criticism of Obama, but one senior administration official supported for the Australian leader: "Prime Minister Howard knows that setting a timeline for a withdrawal sends the wrong signal to our enemies."

Several Democrats and Republicans suggested Howard should butt out of the debate.

"I would prefer that Mr. Howard stay out of our domestic politics and we'll stay out of his domestic politics," Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, told CNN's "Late Edition." "But I think his point is that we're going to have to deal with terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. They're not giving up and we shouldn't give up in this battle of wills."

Speaking on the same program, Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden called Howard's comments "bizarre." "We'll make our own judgments in this country with respect to elections, and Barack Obama is a terrific public servant," Wyden said.

Obama declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in a speech on Saturday in his home state.

Like Bush, Howard has come under increased criticism at home for supporting the unpopular war.

Australia has more than 1,000 troops in and around Iraq, many in noncombat roles.

Obama dismissed Howard's suggestion that his election would help terrorist groups, noting that even the Bush administration's "own intelligence agencies have indicated that the threat of terrorism has increased as a consequence of our actions over there."

 
Re: Americans by kazzzz on 13 February 2007 11:54am
 
I'm with you Ellerd, I'm watching him squirmnd thoroughly enjoying it :) Keep digging that hole Johnny.
 
Re: Americans by Godfather on 14 February 2007 3:37am
 
The "Madrassa" thing was probably started up by the Neocon loving Republican hawks who desperately want to stop someone like Barack getting into power. I've been to Madrassas (just looking, don't worry), and the in TV report where they investigated his former school recently,it doesn't seem "anything" like a Madrassa. Just a right wing smear attempt (IMO).
 
Re: Americans by Ellerd on 14 February 2007 9:55am
 
Yes Kazzz, is is fun, isn't it? Hehehe...

I wonder if the Americans really care what little Johnny has to say? Come on American palinites, what say you?
 
Re: Americans by kazzzz on 14 February 2007 10:43am
 
For once I'm quite looking forward to the election Ellerd!!! :)
 
Re: Americans by Caty on 14 February 2007 2:58pm
 
Well, I know I'll be voting for Barack, no matter if he's a muslim or what John Howard has to say! Go Democrats!
 
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